Maestra Marin Alsop
The Dvořák, which contains an abundance of melody, has a strong fabric of counterpoint beneath it; Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D Major does not. This makes the Korngold structurally weaker. Despite all of its lush orchestration (bass drones, vibraphone, and harp) and melody, one largely hears simple harmonies underneath. As soloist, BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney’s portamenti were lovely and unhurried, and his high-register playing was done with accuracy and ease. Korngold took many of the melodic lines from prior film scores, while the final movement contains material resembling Turkey in the Straw.
Alsop led Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 in E Minor with admirable weight and intensity from beginning to end. While the orchestra broadly matched the Maestra’s intensity, an overly dominant violin section created unbalance and a lack of the unity heard previously in the Dvořák. Memorable moments included the rich tone and broad phrasing of the principal oboist (though sometimes not present enough in the room), rhetorical flute solos (fourth movement), and a graceful horn section (second movement). By comparison with the National Symphony Orchestra's offering last week, the BSO presented the best weekend of season finale concerts in the region.